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Injuries to key pitchers forcing teams to reconsider options

Tommy John surgery is becoming common, with few pitchers confident they will return in 2015.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back, and that will not change until October. With spring training officially underway, several teams have been forced to add depth as a result of recent injuries. A handful of pitchers have been sidelined this spring, with only some confident they will return at some point in 2015.

Josh Edgin, New York Mets

Edgin was expected to compete for a bullpen spot with the Mets this spring, however an MRI revealed he has ligament damage in his left elbow. According to the New York Post, Edgin will decide in the following days whether or not he would like to undergo Tommy John surgery. Several weeks of rehab and a long-term stint on the disabled list would result.

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson is trying to remain optimistic, although the Mets opted not to sign a veteran free agent lefty reliever because of their confidence in Edgin. Edgin was thought to be New York's primary left-handed relief option.

Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto has been impressed with Stroman's athleticism this spring, however Stroman tore his ACL while practicing fielding drills. The Blue Jays' pitching staff was lacking an ace, and the organization was hoping Stroman would prove to be just that.

The Blue Jays now have to find another starting option, with Daniel Norris or Aaron Sanchez being slotted into the rotation.

Chris Capuano, New York Yankees

Capuano was a late addition to the Yankees' rotation, and after being diagnosed with a grade two strain of the right quadriceps, it may no longer be realistic for him to make the 25-man roster. Capuano immediately felt pain after covering first base on a routine ground ball on Wednesday.

Capuano made 12 starts and posted a 4.25 ERA last season for the Yankees, and his consistent performance towards the end of 2014 landed him a one-year, $5 million contract to return to New York. Adam Warren or Esmil Rogers now have the opportunity to win the Yankees' final rotation spot if Capuano is not healthy by the end of spring training.

Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

It did not take long for the Rangers and Yu Darvish to decide the best option for Darvish heading into 2015 is to have Tommy John surgery. The Rangers will not waste any time attempting to preserve Darvish, and instead will organize the 2015 rotation accordingly.

After watching Jurickson Profar sit out and then re-injure himself, the Rangers are not going to ask Darvish to pitch through the injury or wait for it to heal by itself. Texas has some starting depth and according to the Dallas Morning News, is confident it can compete without Darvish anchoring the rotation.

Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies

Lee could have been dealt this offseason, but instead remained in Philadelphia. The veteran lefty only made 13 starts last year because of a strained flexor tendon, according to Dr.James Andrews, and still has some variation of a tear in his elbow. Lee was cleared to start his spring throwing program, but is still experiencing discomfort and may be facing career-ending surgery, Sports Illustrated's Jay Jaffe notes.

Lee is entering the final year of a five-year, $120 million deal he signed with the Phillies. Philadelphia was active this winter and is rebuilding after trading several veteran pieces.

Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves

Minor had been battling a shoulder injury, and went to visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Dr. Andrews revealed there was no structural damage and Minor will simply sit out for a few weeks. While there is no clear timetable for Minor's return, he is expected to open the season on the disabled list.

Tim Collins, Kansas City Royals

Collins visited Dr. Andrews in Florida, and learned significant damage in his ulnar collateral ligament would require Tommy John surgery. Collins' stint with the Royals may be over, as they cands  non-tender him at the end of the season. Brandon Finnegan and Franklin Morales are possible replacement options for Kansas City.

Brandon Cumpton, Pittsburgh Pirates

Cumpton had Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, and as a result of the elbow injury, the Pirates lost starting pitching depth. Cumpton was expected to be the first available option if one of Pittsburgh's starters went down. He first felt pain in his elbow during a live batting practice session.

Gavin Floyd, Cleveland Indians

Floyd has experienced elbow discomfort in the past, and reportedly re-injured it this spring. A stress fracture in the same elbow last season kept Floyd out for most of the season, and the Indians will wait for the results of his MRI, which is scheduled for Sunday, before making any other pitching arrangements.